West Coast Track and Field
Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 4:44PM Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have recently been told by our distance coach that I do not get enough mileage. My whole running career I have always believed that a good distance for an 800m runner like myself was around 20-25 miles per week. I have never done anything but that amount...or lower. This amount of mileage has brought me success as I have run 1:51 for the 800 and 46 for the 400. I am debating on whether or not I should ask my 400-800 coach if I could increase mileage. The distance coach said that with my speed I could be running 1:4mid if I would just get my mileage up into the 50's and 60's. Now I might be crazy...but isn't he crazy? I think that amount of mileage would break any 800m runner in half. And to put another twist on it, my 400-800 coach absolutely hates the distance coach. I have always had fun reading threads on this site, and now its weird because I actually have a question for you guys for once.
nightline
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 4:55PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
You haven't read much of this forum before, have you?
West Coast Track and Field
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:00PM - in reply to nightline Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I don't know what that means...so I will answer with this. Yes? As in YES I have read the forums...mostly the funny threads...but I know there are threads on here with a lot of good info too.
Another 800 guy
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:08PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I'm a few seconds faster at the 800 than you are and I run about 60 miles a week. Of course I top out at 48 low, so we are approaching the event from different sides...
hill runner 1984
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:09PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
If I was a 46 second 400m running 1:51 I would not consider that success. Look at the training of most successful (ie, those who make the most of their ability, which you certainly are not) 800m athletes. Not necessarily 100 mile weeks, although some do like Snell and Ovett, but almost certainly over 50 during base. I would say all sub 1:45 guys average over 60 miles a week during base phase, maybe around 70.

Bottom line, 20-25 miles a week (3-4 miles a day? really?) means you are not reaching your potential at 800m, particularly when you are racing 400m in 46 and 800m in 1:51 (9 seconds per lap slower).

It isn't just about mileage though. Mileage will help your tempos, which will help your 3k/5k pace stuff, which will help you maintain a quicker total pace over the 800m distance (particularly over the last lap).
Guppy
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:23PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
1:51 is actually pretty poor for a 400/800 guy who can go 46. I had two teammates in HS go 48/1:51 and 49/1:52, and these were guys with sprinting backgrounds. They didn't really do much mileage but did a lot of long workouts like 20x200m in 28-30.

I know KD runs as much as 80mpw during his base phase. "Just add mileage" isn't necessarily the best way to look at things, but very few (any?) successful 800m runners do less than 50mpw at least at some point in their training. Personally I would have the runner gradually increase their mileage to 40mpw or so and see how things go. If things are good, increase it a little more. It will take a while to find out where the optimum is. I don't really have a lot of knowledge on sprint-based 800m runners but am just going by what I've seen with teammates and read. 25mpw is pussy regardless.
Coach D
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:41PM - in reply to Guppy Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
A sprint-based 800 runner would be expected to run 800 15-17% slower than 400 pace, while an endurance-trained 800 runner would run 10% slower than (a slower) 400 pace.

But the distance coach shows a total lack of knowledge about 400/800 training. The endurance runner trains for 800 with more mileage and VO2max intervals. For a sprinter, the endurance training comes from special endurance: things like 5X600 @ 90% speed with good-to-full recovery between runs. See Juantorena training: Not much "mileage" and practically no endurance runs over 1-2 miles, but a LOT of special endurance and hard speed.

The times listed for 800 are slow for a 400 guy. But the key is likely more special endurance, not a lot more mileage (but some of the "aerobic" training Clyde Hart does (starting with 15X200 in 35 with 1:30-1:40 recovery for 46 second 400 guys) might help too. With a 46, it could also be that you are more suited for pure 400 training.
nightline
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 5:57PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
46 is a tick away from world class. 1:51 is dime a dozen. I'd consider seeing where your 400m potential is before your 800m, but if it's the 800 you want, it's going to take a lot more than 25 miles a week, no matter how fast you are. The 800 is an aerobic event. Just stay in touch with your speed while you're doing the mileage and do it on soft surfaces.
here is the true answer
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 6:14PM - in reply to nightline Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Here are two items for you to read.

Nick Symmonds base training: http://www.thefinalsprint.com/2008/10/nick-symmonds-training-elite-athlete-blog-entry-22/

70 mpw for a 1:43 guy.

Sub 1:50 thread: http://www.letsrun.com/forum/flat_read.php?thread=2669719&page=0

The guy giving most of the advice in the thread was a consistent 1:48/1:49 guy until he started to really work the endurance side, eventually getting up to 80 mpw in the off-season and down to 1:46. He mentions he trained with Rich Kenah and other guys under Gags at Enclave.
fast twitch man
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 6:37PM - in reply to here is the true answer Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
your 400m time is clearly better than your 800, i think you should be a 400m specialist and train for that for a bit you could probably get the 45 low, 44 high, if you specifically train for that for a year or so
West Coast Track and Field
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 7:16PM - in reply to fast twitch man Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Maybe focusing on the 400 is a good idea, but I feel like I have a lot more potential and room for improvement in the 800. I also feel like the 400 is more of a genetic related race. I just assume that genetically superior 400 runners do not need to train as hard to be the fastest (since its basically a one lap sprint) whereas in the 800 you are given a better chance to be the best (with harder work) even if you are not genetically the most superior.
hill runner 1984
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 7:23PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

West Coast Track and Field wrote:

I just assume that genetically superior 400 runners do not need to train as hard to be the fastest (since its basically a one lap sprint) whereas in the 800 you are given a better chance to be the best (with harder work) even if you are not genetically the most superior.


So you know that the hard work is needed for the 800m, you just aren't willing to put in that hard work?
West Coast Track and Field
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 7:30PM - in reply to hill runner 1984 Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
I have just always assumed the hard work was within a 20-25 mile per week frame. I thought that what I did with those 20-25 miles was what counted. Just recently I came across the proposal that more mileage is essential for a successful 800 meter runner. I am assuming that with 50-60 miles per week that I cannot hammer all of my miles like I did with 20-25 miles. I am assuming that the miles above 25 have to be slow easy miles (otherwise it seems I would be very prone to injury and an early peak). Therefore I would be doing the same amount of work...just with less intensity since I will need to cover more miles. Hammering for 25 miles=hard work and medium intensity for 50-60= hard work.
Nay
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/1/2009 9:06PM - in reply to Coach D Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

Coach D wrote:

A sprint-based 800 runner would be expected to run 800 15-17% slower than 400 pace, while an endurance-trained 800 runner would run 10% slower than (a slower) 400 pace.

But the distance coach shows a total lack of knowledge about 400/800 training. The endurance runner trains for 800 with more mileage and VO2max intervals. For a sprinter, the endurance training comes from special endurance: things like 5X600 @ 90% speed with good-to-full recovery between runs. See Juantorena training: Not much "mileage" and practically no endurance runs over 1-2 miles, but a LOT of special endurance and hard speed.

The times listed for 800 are slow for a 400 guy. But the key is likely more special endurance, not a lot more mileage (but some of the "aerobic" training Clyde Hart does (starting with 15X200 in 35 with 1:30-1:40 recovery for 46 second 400 guys) might help too. With a 46, it could also be that you are more suited for pure 400 training.


I hate responses like this.

'There are 400-800 guys that don't have to put in the distance work. There're 800-1600/endurance guys that do.'

The 800 is almost perfectly split down the middle, 50% anaerobic, 50% aerobic meaning that EVERYONE should be doing work in both. And guess what? The anaerobic tops out WAY before the aerobic.

The OP isn't simply 'tackling' the event from the opposite side of the problem, he's running on 50% of his potential as seen by his stellar 400 time and his less-than stellar 800.

Go read the Maggie Vessay article that's floating around somewhere, written by her coach. He accepts that, yes, she is not a high milage runner because she can't handle that physically, but she cross trains for hours a week on bike, HARD: heart rate in the aerobic threshold area, to get in her other 'side'.

Just because you've got a better 400 time than other people, doesn't mean you don't have to work on the aerobic side of the event, why the hell would you leave such a gap?

To Coach D, the question was about the 800, not about being a pure 400 runner or not. If you want to focus on the 800, OP, you NEED to get in the aerobic. This could be higher milage, this could be cross-training of some sort.

Please DON'T just go the cross-training route. Think about training specificity. Running makes you a better runner. Try running first.

If you're body, after an attempt of 1-3 months at upping your milage, breaks down, simply cannot handle the higher milage, then, and only then should you consider other options.

Saying that every 800 meter doesn't need the same type of training is bull though. Saying they should all be trained the same way is bull. Saying they can simply attack the event from two separate 'sides' is a lie.
foomiler
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/3/2009 3:31AM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post

West Coast Track and Field wrote:

I have just always assumed the hard work was within a 20-25 mile per week frame. I thought that what I did with those 20-25 miles was what counted. Just recently I came across the proposal that more mileage is essential for a successful 800 meter runner. I am assuming that with 50-60 miles per week that I cannot hammer all of my miles like I did with 20-25 miles. I am assuming that the miles above 25 have to be slow easy miles (otherwise it seems I would be very prone to injury and an early peak). Therefore I would be doing the same amount of work...just with less intensity since I will need to cover more miles. Hammering for 25 miles=hard work and medium intensity for 50-60= hard work.


You could try out adding more aerobic work using cross training, like the bicycle, elliptical, swimming, pool running, etc. Do these at first for 10-20 min per session at recovery intensity and see how you respond.

Runners like Nick Symmonds (2x 30 min swim per wk), Nicole Teter (road bike 2-4x per wk in AM), Andre Bucher of Switzerland (aquajogging, stationary bike), Alan Webb (swimming, stairmaster, pool running)and most athletes under Alberto Salazar make extensive and intensive use of
aerobic cross training to supplement mileage requirements, and they've been having positive responses to training and racing as a result.

But never neglect personal idiosyncracies. I agree to a certain extent with Coach D that some runners are better suited to lower mileage training PERIOD, be it with cross training or not. Some people just cannot handle more work, even if its not intense.

So I would recommend you try increasing your volume of aerobic training during your base phase using both more running and/or cross training carefully and see how you react overall before making a decision. Consult your coaches first, however, so they know what to look out for when you start making changes.
.........................
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/3/2009 4:10AM - in reply to Coach D Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
Not a LOT of things like 5x600´s in Juantorena´s schedule, and when there is the pace is 1.25. He mostly did 1000´s and 200´s:

From http://www.athleticscoaching.ca/UserFiles/File/Sport%20Science/Theory%20&%20Methodology/Speed/Sprints/Juantorena%20Specific%20Training%20for%20the%20400%20-%20800m%20Runner.pdf

This table shows that the extreme stretches of 1000m and 200m are stressed.
The latter meant –mostly due to their intensity - adequate incentives for endurance in speed and special endurance. The purpose of the 500m work was to achieve a better agreement between the distance and the special training
stretch, for which we increased from the 1,200m of 1974 (2 x 600) to 16.8 Km (28 x 600) by the end of the special meso (6 last weeks).

Example of general preparation training sessions, last macro of the Olympic Cycle - Montreal ‘76:

Monday 11/9/75
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. Special cross (Fartlek with pre-programmed accelerations). Total: 13km.
Tuesday 11/10/75
1. Warm up. gymnasium. grass run game
2. Strength in apparatus. 15 tons.
3. Relative speed 3(5 x 200m). Medium speed 23.84 sec.
Wednesday 11/11/75 (Track)
1. Warm up. gymnasium
2. Progressive series, 3 x 100m.
3. Rhythm endurance 4 x 1000m. Medium speed 2:35.15
Thursday 11/12/75
1. Warm up, gymnasium on grass.
2. 2 km cross (3 series of 3 x 400m) + cross-2km.
Friday 11/13/75
1. Warm up, gymnasium on grass
2. Strength in apparatus, 15 tons
3. Relative speed 3(5 x 200m) mean speed - 23.63 sec.
Saturday 11/14/75 (Track)
1. Warm up, gymnasium
2. 3 x 100m progressive series
3. 1000m + 500m + 1000m + 500m.
 Mean speed 1000m = 2:41.35
 500m = 1:04.35

To this we added a power task (skipping) carried out with consecutive jumps uphill, on grass using the body weight only. This work made a total of 89km in 1976 and was very important for the technical performance of my runs and for
the stride length of 3 meters I was able to average after going beyond the 100m following the start off the blocks. This resulted in my compensating for the shortcoming I had at the start, which was always slow.
Another factor I believe contributed, to a large extent, to the shape I reached in Montreal was the 4 week stay for training purposes in Mexico’s intermediate altitude (2,400m above sea level) where the partial oxygen pressure decreased
by altitude mademy organic system develop compensating mechanisms to make up for the deficit during work and recovery. My hemoglobin and the metabolic capacity for oxygen consumption increased, as well as the possibilities of assimilation of the toxin produced by the 200m interval work of which I did the highest volumes in altitude.
Always with a view to gain in intensity, the volume in kilometers reached, during the macrocycle of preparation for Montreal (including the competitive special mesocycle of May-June and July) was rounded off in the figure 1,050 Km.

Following, I give you examples of one week of preparation in the special meso and afterwards in the competitive one.

Special Preparation Mesocycle - 1976

Monday 03/15 - Special Training on grass
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. 2 km cross + special endurance
3. 5 x 350m + speed endurance
4. 6 x 200m + skipping 5 x 200 + cross (uphill skipping) 2 km all very fast
runs
Tuesday 03/16 - Special training on track
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. Progressive series - 3 x 100m.
3. Starts from blocks 3 x 30m.
4. Relative speed 10 x 200m. (mean speed 23.6 sec.)
Wednesday 03/17 - Track special training
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. Progressive series - 3 x 100m
3. Special endurance 5 x 600m (mean speed 1:25.6)
Thursday 03/18
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. 9 km cross
Friday 03/19
1. Warm up + gymnasium
2. Strength special exercises, jumps over hurdles
3. 3 x 100m progressive series
4. Starts off blocks –3 x 30m
5. Relative speed 8 x 200m (mean speed 23.18 sec)
Saturday 03/20
1. Warm up, gymnasium
2. 3 x 100m progressive series
3. Starts off blocks 3 x 100m
4. Special endurance 2 x 600m + 2 x 400m
a. Mean speed: 600m = 1:21.9
b. 400m = 48.25

Regarding what I said about one of my technical shortcomings, the start, It can be seen in the structure of these examples the reiteration of these workouts and the increase in the distance by the end of the microcycle.
Fulfillment of the Training Plan during the 19 last days of July which include the Olympic participation:

Tuesday 07/13
1. 4 km cross
2. Interval 10 x 150m x 2.
3. 1km cross at the park on grass.
Wednesday 07/14
1. 1 km jogging
2. Series 4 x 100m, 3 x 500m (1:04.6, 1:03.5, 1:03.2)
3. 1 km jogging on tartan.
Friday 07/16
1. 3 km cross.
2. 2 series 10 x 150m.
3. 2 km cross at the park on grass.
Saturday 07/17
1. 1 Km cross.
2. 4 x 100m series.
3. 3x 600m (1:31.6, 1:21.5, 1:192).
4. 1 km jogging on tartan.
Sunday 07/18
 4 Km cross at the park on grass
Monday 07/19
1. 1 km cross.
2. 1 x 200m (21.4sec), 1 x300m (34 sec) start from blocks with gun signal,
on tartan.
Tuesday 07/20
 Warm up like prior to the competition: 600m in 1:19.3, 15 min. pause;
600m in 1:15.9 with gun signal on tartan.
Wednesday 07/2
 1.5 km. cross
Thursday 07/22
 Day off
Friday 07/23
 800m competition in 1:47.14, first place in the qualifying rounds.
Saturday 07/24
 800m competition in 1:45.8, first place in the semi-finals.
Sunday 07/25
 800m competition in 1:43.5, first place in the finals.
Monday 07/26
 In the morning 400m competition in 47.8, third place in the qualifying
rounds.
 In the afternoon 400m competition in 45.92 sec., second place in quarter
finals.
Tuesday 07/27
 Day off
Wednesday 07/28
 400m competition in 45.10 sec., first place in the semi-finals.
Thursday 07/29
 400m competitions in 44.26 sec., first place in the finals.
Friday 07/30
 4 x 400m competition: 3:05.9; Fourth place (45.8 sec).
Saturday 07/31
 4 x 400m competition: 3:03.8; Seventh place (44.0 sec).
dsrunner has the day off
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/3/2009 2:40PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
First, your distance coach has no idea whether you can run <150. What he is doing is trying to fit you into his training paradigm and he figures if a kid with 56 400m speed can bust out a 2:01 800m, putting in 60 or so miles/week, imagine how fast this other kid who splits a 46 will be if he trains just like the slowpoke. It's overly simplistic thinking, really. The truth is you are probably just as well off listening to the 400/800 coach as the distance coach, and the better your basic speed, the less likely it is you need high volume training to run a great 800m. Bottom line is either one can help you or ruin you, and if you want to get to the NCAA meet or the world list, you're gonna have to figure out what works best for you.

You do have some room for improvement, and I consider 46 4x400m speed, more or less the minimum for gaining a spot in a world championship 800m final these days. The real question is how to attack for stamina gains in your individual case. My advice would be to explore the middle ground for now. Truth is if you can't hit 118-119 for 600m solo on 20-25 miles/week, you are probably better off racing the 400. Moreover, if you do increase your mileage, the mileage you do still needs to be tailored to your own physiology. And if bumping it up to 30-35 miles week doesn't carry over to the 800m, at least some gains, then jumping to 60/week wont be the answer anyway. If you do go for a bigger volume base, you still want to be able to bike over to the track, put on the spikes and fairly casually hit a 51 for 400m. If you lose more speed than that with the added over distance, you are robbing Peter to pay Paul.
fgfg
RE: Mileage for college 800 meter runner 10/3/2009 6:10PM - in reply to West Coast Track and Field Reply | Return to Index | Report Post
you are on a pro high mileage site askimg if you should run higher mileage


that's a troll